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The Learning Academy: Parent-Teacher Conferences


The Learning Academy: Parent-Teacher Conferences

Kristin Bieber, Ph.D.
Boys Town Center for Behavioral Health

​In general, communication with school is important. So, attending parent teacher conferences is one way to send a message to your child and to the school that you really value what's happening at school and that learning is important to you and your family.

What questions should parents ask their child's teacher?

I always like to focus on what kids are doing well. I think that should be an important part of the conversation early in the meeting.

Starting off with, what do you see my child doing well in the classroom? What progress have you seen them make since the beginning of the school year or since the last time we talked? There may be always issues and concerns but there likely will always be progress there too. I think it's important that's not overlooked.

Other questions to ask are: how is my child doing compared to other kids in the classroom? Are they on track compared to other kids their age? What are the areas that they aren't doing well at? What are the skills that you feel like you are practicing with them over and over again and they just aren't getting and how can I help with that at home?

Should parents talk with their child after the conference?

I think that it is a good way to just send a message to the child that your teacher and I are in this together. We're all working together on helping you do a good job at school.

Again, I would focus on what came out of that meeting that was positive. So even if what came out of it that was positives very little compared to what was discussed that is maybe not so positive, I would still have that be the focus of the conversation with the child.

They said you're really doing a lot better raising your hand before you ask a question.

Way to go!

Then, this sounds like something we need to keep working on so this is what we're going to do to help you with that.

The more we focus on what kids are doing well, the more they're going to learn that is how they get our attention.

Parent-teacher conferences can play an important role in the education of your child. Kristin Bieber, outpatient therapist with the Boys Town Center for Behavioral Health, suggests possible questions parents might ask at the parent-teacher conference and how important it can be to discuss the results of the conference with your child.